By Chang-tai Hung
This is often the 1st entire examine of pop culture in twentieth-century China, and of its political influence in the course of the Sino-Japanese battle of 1937-1945 (known in China as "The struggle of Resistance opposed to Japan"). Chang-tai Hung indicates in compelling aspect how chinese language resisters used various well known cultural forms--especially dramas, cartoons, and newspapers--to succeed in out to the agricultural viewers and provoke help for the warfare reason. whereas the Nationalists used pop culture as a patriotic device, the Communists refashioned it right into a socialist propaganda device, developing full of life symbols of peasant heroes and pleased photos of village lifestyles lower than their rule. finally, Hung argues, the Communists' use of pop culture contributed to their victory in revolution.
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Additional info for War and Popular Culture: Resistance in Modern China, 1937-1945
The cartoon ridicules the Manchu government's double-dealing policy of brutal suppression at home but abject submission to foreign powers. From Bi Keguan,"Jindai baokan manhua," XWYJZL 8 (November 1981): 74; originally printed in The 1908 Pictorial.  Simultaneously, in the mid-1920s a new breed of cartoonists began to emerge. The Cartoon Association (Manhua hui), China's first society dedicated to the art form, made its debut in the autumn of 1927 in Shanghai. Founded by Ding Song (1891–1972), Zhang Guangyu (1900–1964), Wang Dunqing (1899-), and Ye Qianyu, the association had eleven members initially, most of whom were novices who shared a common interest in trying a new technique and testing a new field.
1] On 1 August 1938, after a centralized propaganda effort was launched by the Third Section (literary propaganda, headed by Guo Moruo) of the Political Department, under the direction of the Military Affairs Commission, the thirteen Shanghai Theater Circle troupes were reorganized into ten Anti-Japanese Drama Companies (Kangdi yanjudui). Each comprising thirty members (who received 25 yuan per month in salary), these troupes were instructed to continue the task of spreading news and educating ― 50 ― Fig.
Staging a street play in Wuhan, summer of 1938. " Courtesy of Lü Fu. the masses about the war.  The war drastically changed the nature of modern Chinese drama.  No longer a mere cityoriented entertainment medium, the drama now became a primary propaganda channel for communicating with broad masses of rural people. And as the new theater redefined the limits of the stage experience and challenged the old norms, the center of attention shifted from the play to the audience. ― 51 ― Popularization Armed with poor and simple tools but full of enthusiasm and energy, young Chinese dramatists and student activists roamed the countryside to begin an unprecedented campaign of mass political education of the common people.